Holiday Activities To Do In and Around Ottawa

As the year comes to a close, here’s 8 great activities for you to enjoy in and around Ottawa.

by Tina Richardson


‘Tis the season to discover the holiday spirit in and around the Nation’s Capital! And as the cooler weather rolls in, Ottawa comes alive in a very special way with colour and lights and festive flair. So, if you aren’t planning on heading out of town this holiday season, why not check out some of our local festivities?

Spectacular Lights!

Downtown Ottawa is all decked out! Thousands of lights on Parliament Hill will light up on Wednesday December 7th at 7:00PM with the launch of the 32nd edition of Christmas Lights Across Canada. Live music, fireworks and FREE BeaverTails and hot chocolate. See the lights all the way into the New Year, until January 7th, 2018.

New Digs!

Canada Science and Technology Museum opened this past November after having been closed since 2014 for a massive renovation. $80 million dollars later, the museum aims to be an irresistible blend of past, present and future. If you’ve never set foot inside, or if you’ve been missing some of the “old faves”, now is certainly the time to pay this place a visit.

Scrumptious Dining!

In December and January, special menus will be offered at Casino du Lac Leamy onsite restaurants (including CAA-AAA Five Diamond Le Baccara!). Don’t forget to grab a holiday photo with Old Saint Nick at the front entrance (December 1st-23rd for free).

Shop ‘Till You Drop!

Looking for some unique gift ideas? The Byward Market is always a festive place to be, but even more so during the holidays. Stroll around and take in the Christmas Choirs caroling and complimentary wagon rides during the first three weekends of December.

Burn off Those Holiday Calories!

Each winter the historic Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, becomes the Rideau Canal Skateway, and the world’s largest skating rink. The skateway winds its way through Ottawa, over a total length of 7.8 kilometres, but we won’t tell on you if you just do a portion of that! Be sure to check out the conditions before you head down though, mother nature is in complete control of this one and hours of operation and closures can happen without much advance notice.

Ring in the New Year!

It’s been quite a year of celebrating Canada 150th anniversary in many unique ways. Not to be missed will be the Canada 150 Closing Celebrations on Parliament Hill. Celebrate this unique milestone with family and friends as you enjoy live music and interactive entertainment. All capped with a spectacular fireworks display as the clock strikes midnight!

Road Tripping?

Done with the city and taking to the open road? CAA Members, don’t forget to visit your closest CAA Store for your complimentary TripTik, maps, and tour books. It’s all part of your Membership!

Solo Traveller Club Holiday Get-Together!

Re-unite with old friends you have travelled with over the years and meet some new ones. Join us for some holiday cheer on Thursday December 21st at 1:30PM at St. Louis Bar & Grill in Ottawa (1331 Clyde Ave. #101, Ottawa).

Wishing you all the very best of the holiday season and a healthy and prosperous 2018.